For the 50+ Traveler

1
Dock & Bay Microfiber Towel

Top Pick
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Dock & Bay was founded in 2015 by an Aussie and a Brit with a passion for travel, and their innovative microfiber beach towel was featured on BBC's Dragons' Den, the UK's version of Shark Tank. While microfiber isn't a traditional material for beach towels, the creative minds behind Dock & Bay's beach towel are convinced that microfiber and the beach are a match made in heaven.

If you've never used a microfiber towel before, you might be inclined to pass this one up, especially considering the steep price tag. But if you think microfiber should be relegated to cleaning car interiors, think again. Microfiber is remarkably lightweight and easy to transport from place to place, but it's also durable; it absorbs water like a dream, but it dries three times faster than traditional cotton towels. It's smooth, soft, and easy on delicate skin. And you won't have to deal with the dreaded sand stick, since sand brushes right off of microfiber surfaces.

While there are numerous microfiber options on the market these days, Dock & Bay's towels still stand out. They come in a whole host of bold, beachy colors and patterns, as well as four different sizes (including a round version). The extra-large size accommodates people up to 6 feet, 5 inches tall. Each towel comes with an attached hook as well as a storage bag for ultimate portability.

While microfiber isn't for everyone -- some complain that the fabric is too thin, not warm enough, and prone to blowing around in the breeze if not anchored somehow -- Dock & Bay offers a 30-day money-back guarantee plus a one-year warranty, so there's really no downside to giving this towel a try.

Key Features

  • Sand-free, quick-drying, lightweight, and absorbent microfiber tower that comes in four sizes and a variety of colors and patterns
  • Attached towel hook
  • Storage bag
  • 30-day money-back guarantee plus one-year warranty

Specifications

  • Brand: Dock & Bay
  • Dimensions/Weight: 78 x 35 inches; 1.1 pounds

Pros

  • It dries quickly, and sand brushes right off it.
  • It comes in more than two dozen classic and colorful styles, and it's easy to wash.
  • It's lightweight and easy to pack into luggage or the included storage bag.

Cons

  • The material is thinner and somewhat sheet-like, and the white stripes tend to show dirt.
  • Because it's so lightweight, it blows around in the wind if it's not secured.
  • Even the extra-large towel is too short for people taller than 6 feet, 5 inches.

2
Ben Kaufman Cotton Velour Striped Towel Set

Honorable Mention
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If you love a good bargain, look no further than this Ben Kaufman towel set. You get four towels for less than what you'd pay for most of the other towels on this list -- now that's a steal! Made of soft and absorbent cotton velour, each of the towels in the set comes in a different eye-catching color. One reviewer gave one to each of her grandchildren on a family vacation, and they were a huge hit -- the kids loved the different colors and never mixed up their towels.

Be advised, however, that these towels are smaller than the others reviewed: At only 60 inches long, they're not ideal for sunbathing, and they're similar in size to bath towels. Their smaller size isn't necessarily a bad thing, however, if you're looking for a cotton towel that's still light and portable. Each towel in the set weighs only about a pound.

Some reviewers have reported that these towels may produce excessive lint, unravel, shrink, or bleed in the wash, but the manufacturer has helpfully provided a detailed care guide with instructions for keeping the towels in top shape. As long as you follow the instructions, these towels should remain a great value.

Key Features

  • Four soft, lightweight, and absorbent cotton velour towels in eye-catching colors
  • Detailed care instructions

Specifications

  • Brand: Ben Kaufman
  • Dimensions/Weight: 60 x 30 inches; 1 pound

Pros

  • The towels come in four fun colors: orange, turquoise, pink, and lime.
  • The towels don't come with a storage bag, but at only a pound each, they are fairly portable.
  • You get four towels for less than what you'd pay for one of the other towels on this list.

Cons

  • The towels are smaller and shorter than other options and are more like bath towels than beach towels.
  • Some reviewers have reported that the towels may produce excessive lint, unravel, shrink, or bleed in the wash.
  • It may be difficult to obtain a refund from the company.

3
Mumu Sugar Sand-Free Beach Mat

Also Consider
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Mumu Sugar's durable nylon mat is a beach lover's dream. It's waterproof, dries quickly, and you can shake the sand off it without a hassle. If you're traveling to a faraway destination by plane, or if you're planning a romantic vacation with a partner, a girls' getaway, or a trip with the grandkids, you might want to consider this travel- and group-friendly option. It's compact and can easily be packed into the included storage bag, but when unpacked, it's large enough to accommodate several adults.

There are two neat features that set this mat apart and make it ideal for times when the weather threatens to turn your dream vacation into a nightmare. The product comes with four anchor stakes, which you can use to secure the mat in case of strong wind. What's more, when it starts pouring rain, you can turn the waterproof mat into a handy rain cover!

If you're an outdoorsy type and love active adventures as much as time on the beach, this mat would make a great multifunctional companion. It's as useful for sporting events, open-air festivals, picnics with the grandkids, camping trips, and hiking adventures as it is for the beach. One reviewer even used it as a makeshift fort to amuse the little ones in her travel party.

You might want to bring along some more traditional beach towels in addition to this mat. It's more like a tarp than a towel, and since it gets hot in direct sunlight and isn't particularly useful for drying off, some reviewers have felt the need to lay regular beach towels on top of it. But the manufacturers stand behind their product with a lifetime guarantee.

Key Features

  • Sand-free, quick-drying, lightweight, durable, and waterproof nylon mat that comes in two sizes and two colors
  • 6.3 x 5.1 inch storage bag
  • Four anchor stakes
  • Lifetime money-back guarantee

Specifications

  • Brand: Mumu Sugar
  • Dimensions: 82 x 79 inches; .75 pound

Pros

  • It's compact and can easily be packed into the included storage bag, but when unpacked it's large enough to accommodate several people.
  • It's lightweight but can be secured to the ground with the included anchor stakes.
  • It's waterproof and can be transformed into a rain cover during bad weather.

Cons

  • The plastic-like surface gets hot in direct sunlight.
  • It's not very absorbent and isn't great for drying off.
  • It's more like a tarp than a towel, and some reviewers have felt the need to lay regular beach towels on top of it.

4
BAGAIL Basics Microfiber Towel

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Another microfiber contender, BAGAIL's towels are soft, lightweight, and durable. They're also absorbent -- really absorbent. BAGAIL claims its towels can hold up to four times their weight in water! If that weren't impressive enough, the towels also dry several times faster than traditional cotton towels.

When it comes to style and size, you've got options: BAGAIL's towels come in eight sizes (from 24 x 12 inches to 80 x 40 inches) and eight colors. The small towels won't be of much use on the beach, but the medium and large towels (about the size of bath towels) and the extra-large towels (perfect for sunbathing) will serve you well whether you're looking to dry off or lay out.

Each towel comes with a zippered EVA case so that you can pack it away without everything else in your bag getting wet. The cases are ventilated, which helps prevent that dreaded mildew smell. There's a snap loop attached so that you can easily hang your towel up to dry, and the neat corner zipper pocket sewn into each towel keeps your phone, wallet, and ID safe.

The only real downside to these towels is that there are currently very few reviews online about them, and the company doesn't seem to offer a return window or warranty.

Key Features

  • Soft, quick-drying, absorbent, lightweight, and durable microfiber towel that comes in eight sizes and eight colors
  • Corner zipper pocket to keep accessories and valuables safe
  • Attached snap loops
  • Zippered, ventilated EVA storage case

Specifications

  • Brand: BAGAIL Basics
  • Dimensions: Eight sizes between 24 x 12 inches and 80 x 40 inches

Pros

  • The microfiber fabric is soft, absorbent, dries quickly, and comes in a variety of colors.
  • The corner zipper pocket keeps accessories and valuables like cell phones, wallets, and IDs safe.
  • It's lightweight and easy to pack into the included zippered storage case, which is ventilated to prevent mildew.

Cons

  • The microfiber texture is nontraditional and could take some getting used to.
  • There are very few reviews online about the product, so you can't be sure what you're getting.
  • The company doesn't offer a refund window or warranty.

5
Akumal Microfiber Beach Towel

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WildHorn's mission is "to minimize the hassle associated with getting ready for and participating in outdoor adventures," and they certainly deliver.

Yet another microfiber option, WildHorn's Akumal beach towel is just as lightweight, absorbent, and quick-drying as the other microfiber towels on this list. At 78 inches long, it's large enough for all but the tallest travelers, but it easily fits into the included mesh storage bag. The fabric is soft on delicate skin, and the reinforced stitching ensures the towel will hold up to many uses. With 11 attractive designs, there's a style for every traveler.

At nearly $30, this towel is more expensive than other options. Be aware that even though the photo advertising the item on Amazon shows six towels, you only get one. Microfiber towels are lightweight and tend to blow around in the wind, so if you decide to purchase this towel, you might want to consider bringing something to secure it to the ground.

Key Features

  • Soft, quick-drying, absorbent, lightweight, and durable microfiber towel that comes in 11 designs
  • Attached snap loops
  • 10 x 3.5 inch mesh storage bag

Specifications

  • Brand: WildHorn Outfitters
  • Dimensions/Weight: 78 x 35 inches; 15.2 ounces

Pros

  • The microfiber fabric is soft, absorbent, dries quickly, and comes in a variety of styles.
  • The attached snap loop makes it easy to hang the towel up.
  • It's lightweight and easy to pack into luggage or the included mesh storage case.

Cons

  • Because it's so lightweight, it blows around in the wind.
  • At nearly $30 for one towel, it doesn't offer the best value.
  • The main photo shows six towels instead of one, leading some customers to believe they're purchasing a set of towels instead of a single towel.

6
HAVLULAND Turkish Cotton Beach Towel Set

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Budget travelers who don't want to compromise on style or quality will love HAVLULAND's beach towel set. Made of luxurious Turkish cotton, these towels are absorbent and made to last. Some other benefits of Turkish cotton? It's mildew-resistant, antibacterial, antifungal, and odor-resistant. The towels come with pretty tassels and unique designs, and each one is vat-dyed, which means that the fabric will retain its cheerful color even after years of use.

But the beauty of these towels goes beyond the surface: They're harmful chemical-free, and all materials used to make them are OEKO-TEX-certified and ISO 9001-certified.

If you're not sold yet, you will be when you realize that you get six of these gorgeous, eco-friendly towels for under $50! These just might be the best bargain on this list.

While some reviewers dislike the scratchier texture of these towels and have some difficulty washing them, HAVLULAND guarantees that their towels will shrink a maximum of 5 percent if they are laundered and dried according to the care guide on Amazon.

Key Features

  • Six soft, absorbent, quick-drying, and colorful Turkish cotton towels with tassels
  • Mildew-resistant, odor-resistant, and naturally antibacterial and antifungal fabric that's vat-dyed so that it retains its color even after years of use
  • Eco-friendly, OEKO-TEX-certified, and ISO 9001-certified materials
  • Detailed care instructions

Specifications

  • Brand: HAVLULAND
  • Dimensions/Weight: 71 x 39 inches; 1.2 pounds

Pros

  • The Turkish cotton fabric is soft, absorbent, mildew-resistant, odor-resistant, and naturally antibacterial.
  • With their tassels and bright colors, they're attractive and unique, and with their OEKO-TEX and ISO 9001 certifications, they're great for the environment.
  • They're a great value at six towels for one low price.

Cons

  • They are shorter than most of the other options on this list.
  • They are more difficult to keep clean than some of the other options on this list.
  • Some users find them scratchy and stiff and claim that they are more decorative than useful.

7
Elite Trend Microfiber Beach Towel

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For a towel that's uniquely you, consider one of Elite Trend's many style options. If classic cabana is your thing, they've got those, but if you're looking for something more offbeat, consider one of the colorful floral or mandala patterns. If you're an animal lover, there are towels featuring fish and other sea creatures, safari animals, and unicorns. Are there little ones in your party? They'll be pleased as punch with the balloon towel, the rainbow towel, or the towel that looks like a set from Star Wars.

All the towels are microfiber, which means they're lightweight but strong and durable, silky smooth, and absorbent. They're available in five sizes, including a square version, and each towel comes with a zippered storage bag.

Some reviewers claim that the towels have a chemical odor and tend to fade in the wash, but with Elite Trend's generous 30-day return policy and one-year warranty, there's no reason not to give them a try.

Key Features

  • Soft, quick-drying, absorbent, lightweight, and durable microfiber towel that comes in five sizes and a variety of colors and designs
  • Attached snap loops
  • Zippered storage bag
  • 30-day money-back guarantee plus one-year warranty

Specifications

  • Brand: Elite Trend
  • Dimensions: 78 x 35 inches (plus four other options)

Pros

  • The microfiber fabric is soft, absorbent, dries quickly, and comes in a variety of styles.
  • The attached snap loop makes it easy to hang the towel up.
  • It's lightweight and easy to pack into luggage or the included zippered storage bag.

Cons

  • Because it's so lightweight, it blows around in the wind.
  • Some users have reported that the towels have a strong chemical odor.
  • Some users have reported that the towels tend to fade in the wash.
Related:

There's a beach towel out there for every traveler, but the number of options can be overwhelming. Here are the most important factors to consider before dropping your hard-earned cash on one of these products.

Material

The beach towels on this list are made of cotton, nylon, or microfiber. If you like the look and feel of a traditional bath towel -- in other words, if you like your towels thick and comfy -- you'll probably prefer cotton towels. Cotton towels are heavier than other options and don't tend to blow around in the wind. If, however, you're looking for something lightweight and compact that dries quickly and can be easily packed up, you'll want to look into microfiber. If durability and multifunctionality are most important to you, you might consider a nylon mat.

Size

If you're on the taller side and are planning on spending a serious amount of time working on your tan, make sure that the towel you're purchasing is long enough to accommodate your frame. Also make sure your towel is the right size to wrap comfortably around you.

If you're traveling in a group, either pack enough single towels for everyone or bring an extra-large mat (like the third option on this list).

Also, think about whether you'll need your towel to fit inside a particular suitcase, carry-on, backpack, or purse, and do the math before making a purchase.

Durability

There's nothing worse than washing your beautiful new beach towels only to take them out of the dryer in tatters. If you don't want towels that go straight to the rag drawer, invest in a quality towel made from materials that will last long after your beach vacation is over. Check the reviews to make sure customers are satisfied with the quality of the product you're considering, and be sure to follow any care instructions given by the manufacturer.

Style

Consider what style and color you prefer. After all, this towel will be your travel companion for a while, and there's no need to resign yourself to a look you can't stand. Why not pick a beach towel that's as unique as you are?

Return Policy

Online shopping is fraught with uncertainty. Even if a product has great reviews, it might not be all you were hoping for. If you have any doubts about a product, be sure that the company you're buying from offers a return policy or warranty that's acceptable to you.

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